Hailed as the finest combat aviation novel to emerge from the Vietnam War, Flight of the Intruder spent 28 weeks on the New York Times hardcover best-seller list and became one of the top-20 best-selling first novels of all time. An instant classic, the book was translated into more than 20 languages and made into a major motion picture. Its hero, Jake Grafton, became a household name and the star of many more Coonts’ best-sellers. Without question, the strength of the book lies in its flying scenes when Jake Grafton straps himself into the cockpit of his A-6 Intruder. Jake’s love of flying is contagious whether you are hearing the book for the first time or listening to it for the third. No one better captures the world of Navy carrier pilots than Stephen Coonts. An Intruder pilot who flew combat missions off the deck of the USS Enterprise in the Vietnam War, Coonts lived the life he writes about, and he puts readers inside the hearts and minds of the pilots to reveal a world unknown to those outside the naval aviators’ fraternity. Few will forget the book’s final gut-wrenching scene when Jake’s once-innocent love of flying gives way to guilt and frustration and the need to give meaning to the deaths of his comrades.
©1987 Stephen Coonts (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
If you want to know the intimate details of how an aircraft carrier works, this one is for you. Ditto if you've always wanted to be a fighter pilot. If you are not into the aviation minutia, then maybe take a pass. The acronyms build up to the point that it gets confusing sometimes -- and I worked for the government! "He glanced at the CREP and then adjusted the ITB." That kind of thing.
That said, the book did bring back memories of the Vietnam War and was interesting as the perspective of a participant. The main character is competent but not a super-hero. He's believable, but the love story is not. Actually, that may not be an apt description. They meet, what? Twice? And he's in love with her? If the author hadn't needed to introduce Callie for future books, he could have just left her out of this one.
A very long time ago I owned and heard this book on an earlier media type, possibly tape. I had forgotten until I started listening that I knew the story, I do not regret re purchasing.
This is an overall great story with a lively and interesting group of characters that were a pleasure to see through Jakes Graftons eyes. It ended too soon for me, one more chapter to close out the characters recovery after their rescue would have helped me.... I worried about them... this means then, that I was captivated which is a good indication of the quality of the entertainment.
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